To Town Hall,
I write, as a citizen, to my appointed town officials, intending only
bring news to you all concerning the important “happening” as of last
night. It should have great implications!
Yesterday, by a vote of approximately 2/3, the Barnstable County
Assembly ratified the Minimum Performance Standards (MPS) that were
previously recommended and approved by the Cape Cod Commission.
Even with the failure of the Assembly to approve the Threshold, this
vote is a landmark event for the following reasons:
-This action implicitly recognizes that large, industrial wind
turbines are developments of regional impact
-It vests authority in the Cape Cod Commission to regulate these
installations on a regional basis
-It introduces a set of meaningful standards for large wind turbines,
including setback provisions and limits on shadow flicker
-For large projects, it requires an independent noise study that will
measure infrasound and other aspects of wind turbine noise that are
This new process plan acknowledges the rights and interests of
residents that share (potentially share) neighborhoods with large wind
What bearing should this determination have on the considerations of
impact from Falmouth’s existing municipal and private projects?
Obviously, the decision by the regional planning body causes more
local work to be done, but for the moment I think that we should all
feel proud of this result.
The newly adopted standards will, indeed, put Falmouth Town Hall on
notice, in that existing quasi regulated Town (Muni & Private)
projects will be expected to undergo additional local review, with an
eye toward these new standards and possible revised and or modified
A notable point made by both the CCC and the Assembly, is that large
wind projects SHALL submit to substantive public hearings. Further
evidence supporting the desire of many in Falmouth. The Board of
Selectman have regional consent and support, as well as local
authority, to act in similar fashion.
It was the outpouring of public comments and letters, many, many from
Falmouth, imploring the Commission and the Assembly to show some
fundamental decency and respect for the concern of Cape Cod residents
and for long cherished values that won the day at the Assembly hearing.
On this note, with existing large turbines in our town, Falmouth
residents can not be marginalized. A need for equal representation and
treatment carries this new day. This need, this right, is implied by
the full faith and support of the decree made by the Cape Cod
Commission and County Assembly of Delegates.
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